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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: writer wednesday, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 141
1. Writer Wednesday: A New Release Every Two Months?


Now that I'm officially going indie, I can do exciting things like set my own production schedule. Why is this so exciting? Because over the years, I've had to either months between releases or releases stacked so close together it was tough to market my books. No more.

I have 2017 and 2018 mapped out and my release schedule looks like this:
January 
April 
July 
October

That's two months between releases. Will it be tough? Yes! But I think the schedule is going to keep readers happy, and I work better on a schedule so I think I'll be happy too.

Right now, my January 2017 release is so close to being completely finished (and it's only September!). My April release is with my editor, and I'll be polishing up my July release to get that ready for my editor as well. Things are looking good so far. :)

Do you like when authors release books a few months apart?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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2. Writer Wednesday: Self-Publishing Costs


With the number of authors moving in the direction of self-publishing, I've decided to share some things you should know before you dive into self-publishing as an option.

First, understand that the costs are all on you. You are the publisher, so you are responsible for editing, cover design, formatting, and promotion. The good news is that you get to make all the decisions and hire the people you want to help you with your book. Let's break down the big costs involved.

Editing:  There are a lot of great editors out there and their rates differ. You have to do your research and find one that's affordable and offering the type of edits you're looking for. Don't skimp on editing though. I'm not just saying that because I'm an editor. I'm saying it because every author (I don't care if you're famous or not) needs an editor.

Cover Design:  Again, there are a ton of designers out there and they all have different prices. Premade covers are also an option, and they are less expensive. The difficult part is finding one that works for your book. Join some Facebook groups for cover design. Designers post covers, sales, and even ask for suggestions for future premades. They're also happy to work with you on custom made covers.

Formatting:  I know a lot of authors who do their own formatting. Print is a pain, but it's not that difficult. You can teach yourself to do it. There are tons of programs to download and convert your file to all the different ebook files, too. Or you can hire a formatter. I hire a formatter for my ebooks and I format my print books myself.

Promotion:  This is the one that makes all our eyes twitch. I have a social media manager, and she's worth way more than her weight in gold. You can hire a publicist or blog tour companies, or you can choose to do the promotional efforts on your own. Just keep in mind they take a lot of time, so plan accordingly. Advertising is available on Facebook, newsletter subscriptions, and book sites. Teaming up with other authors to offer a big giveaway is also great for exposure and it's inexpensive.

Now this is just touching the surface, but I hope it gives you and idea of what to expect when you go into self-publishing. Yes, you will have to put out money, but the good news is that whatever money comes in from sales is all yours. See which efforts work well for you and where you need to focus that money. It took me years, but I taught myself cover design. I'm lucky enough to have a graphic artist for a sister and she bails me out when I can't do something, but you can learn different aspects of this business and lessen costs that way. I've been on both sides of publishing, and I've made it a point to learn every step along the way. The experience has been so valuable.


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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3. Writer Wednesday: Setbacks


I feel like this industry has been quite grim lately. Writers are experiencing setbacks all over the place. I'm sure this has always been the case, but it's being publicized more now than ever, and maybe that's a good thing because it shows others that a writer's life isn't all fun and games. It's tough!

But here's the thing. Setbacks are just that. They set you back a bit, but they aren't the end. I firmly believe that when things come too easily, we take them for granted. But when we have to work hard, we are more likely to appreciate the success we find. 

So to you writers out there who are feeling down because of setbacks, I challenge you to do this. Push forward and show the industry and the world that you're meant to do this. You are a writer and you WILL write. And remember that you have others like you to lean on. Let's all lift each other up and do what we're meant to do: write books!

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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4. Writer Wednesday: Where It All Begins


It's my daughter's last week of summer break, and we've been busy formatting her first book and reading. She read three books in two days! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see her love of the written word. She's even writing news articles--okay, so they're about Monster High dolls, but she's nine. ;) I'm amazed at how well she puts her thoughts to paper and/or screen.

She reminds me of someone--a little girl who always had a book in her face (hence my awful eyesight). A little girl who wrote poems and short stories and thought they made the best gifts for her family members.

For some of us, writing is something we've done since we could hold a pencil. But I know that's not the case for everyone, so today I want to hear how you came to be a lover of the written word (as a reader and/or writer).

How did it begin for you?

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5. Writer Wednesday: Going Indie

I recently made a big decision for my writing career. I've decided to go indie. Why now after I've had many books traditionally published? To be honest, I've been burned too many times in this industry. I know as writers we aren't supposed to talk about this, but I'm going to anyway. I've been burned by both publishers. And it hurts. Really hurts. As writers we put our dreams in the hands of others and sometimes that works out great. I've had some really great experiences. Fantastic support and more than I've ever dreamed possible.

But that isn't always the case. Sometimes your dreams are shattered by the people you thought were going to help you succeed. I will not be naming names because that isn't the point of this post and I choose to focus on those who have helped me succeed and for whom I'm forever grateful. The point of the post is that I finally realized I have to do what's best for me, and right now, that's going indie. I want control over my career. Yes, it's a lot of work. A LOT! But I've worked in this industry long enough that I've been involved in each aspect of publishing, and I believe I'm ready to take on this challenge. And it will be a challenge. I have no doubt about that.

Does this mean I'll never seek a traditional deal again? Of course not. I've learned not to say "never" because it's like tempting the devil. ;) But for now, I'm going indie and I'm really excited about it.

What decision have you made lately that was tough but for the betterment of your career?


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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6. Writer Wednesday: When You Have to Put A Draft On Hold


I used to think there was nothing worse than having to put an unfinished manuscript aside, but I've come to change my mind about this. With my editing schedule, I often have to write in sprints and then put a manuscript away until my next small break between edits. At first I hated this and I'd give up sleep to finish a draft before the next edit landed in my inbox. Not anymore.

I've found that I love returning to an unfinished story. I get fresh ideas about the plot and characters, and knowing I only have half or a quarter of the book left to write is exciting and totally doable on a time restraint. So I'm not stressing anymore. If I have to put a book aside,  I know I'll come back to it.

Do you ever have to put an unfinished draft aside? How do you feel about it?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post. 

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7. Writer Wednesday: Revising Through Difficult Times


I've been quieter than usual online for the past few days because my great-uncle passed away. While the death of a loved one is never easy, it came at a peculiar time for me. I've been proofing the print ARC of Visions of Mockingbird Point, and while I was doing this, I realized my uncle is all over this book.

The grandparents' house in the story is actually my uncle's old house in Maryland (though in the book, the location is not Maryland). The details of the long driveway and the house with a sitting room in back that looks out over the sloping backyard leading to the dock… They're all from my memories of visiting my uncle. I have a lot of great memories of him, and I was able to get some comfort in rereading my book that was full of those good times. I had forgotten how many things from my time with him slipped into this story.

It wasn't easy to proofread through tears, but they were tears of joy. Happy memories that I'll allow to help me through this difficult time. He will live on in my heart, my memories, and this book. So thank you, Uncle Jerry. This book wouldn't be what it is without you and neither would I.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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8. Writer Wednesday: The Line Between MG and YA


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who asked how to keep the line between your MG and YA works separate, especially when it comes to knowing to what extent you can go with MG vs. YA.

Okay, so we all know the age difference for MG vs. YA. YA is targeted at teens and the characters tend to be fifteen to eighteen. MG is targeted at the nine to twelve age group with the characters typically around the age of eleven to fourteen. (Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a good rule of thumb to go by.) Voice and content are the other two big distinctions.

One of the biggest differences I see is that middle grade is typically more hopeful with happy endings while young adult tends to have a lot of angst. While it's true that many middle grade readers might be cursing and doing things we ourselves didn't do at that age, you don't typically see that in MG books. The stories focus more on the adventures and the character's immediate surroundings—their relationships with family and friends. YA is more about finding your place in the world. There's a lot more self-reflection by the characters, and profanity and even sex can have a place in the story.

I like to think of middle grade as more innocent. A time when you believe the world consists of you, your friends, and your family. YA, on the other hand, is more realistic. You know there's this big world out there and you are struggling to fit into it.

Sheena-Kay, I hope that answers your question. If anyone has any tips for distinguishing between MG and YA, please feel free to leave them in the comments.  


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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9. Writer Wednesday: Broadening Your Reach


As authors, one thing we are constantly trying to do is broaden our reach. You need people to know you and your books exist. So how do you do that? Here are a few ways you should take advantage of:

  • Interviews ~ Never say no to someone who wants to interview you for their blog, newspaper, podcast, etc. I recently did an interview on Super Teacher Worksheets, and it was great. This gets your name out there to readers you may not have otherwise met. (If you're interested, you can read my interview here.)
  • Guest Blog ~ Again, this gets you a new set of readers if the blog you are appearing on has a different following than your own. So reach out to some blogs that you love and see if you can do a guest post for them.
  • Multi-author Giveaways ~ These are fantastic because readers love giveaways. When authors join forces, they join readerships too. That's a very good thing.
  • Blog Hops ~ There are some big blog hops out there. I mean BIG. Getting involved with those will get your book and your name in front of tons of people.
  • Follow Other People's Followers ~ That was a mouthful! What I mean is check out authors you admire and see who they are following and who is following them. Then start following those people too. This is a great way to meet new readers. (This works for Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
  • Use Different Blog Tour Companies ~ We all have those tour companies we love to work with, but they have a base of bloggers they work with. That means using them repeatedly only gets you in front of the same pool of readers. Try other companies as well to find new readers.
These are just a few ways to broaden your reach. Do you know of others? Please share in the comments so we can learn from each other.


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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10. Writer Wednesday: Encouragement

REMINDER: I'll be on a one-week blogging break beginning Friday, July 8th. I'll see you back here on Friday, July 15th.

Lately, I've seen a lot of writers who are just down in the dumps. They're either discouraged because they are experiencing writer's block or they are in the process of separating from a publisher who isn't right for them or they've been on submission for months with no bites from editors. :(

As you probably know, my daughter has been writing her first book. She was so excited when she first began and the idea just flowed. She wrote every day with no shortage of ideas. Well, she's hit the late-middle slump. She knows the ending of her book, but is stuck at the point leading to the climax. She needs some encouragement, and I'm sure some of us could use some too.

So, today I'm asking you to share your words of wisdom in the comments for how you push through when you're going through the many downs that we experience on this roller coaster we call writing. To start you off, here's my advice:

Freewrite anything and everything that comes to mind. Sometimes the act of writing (no matter what about) will inspire creativity and get you over the hump.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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11. Writer Wednesday: A Little Perspective


Since I became a part of this crazy world that is book publishing, my goals and perspective have shifted several times. At first, I dreamed of book deals and best-seller lists. Then I learned that this industry is can be harsh. I'm not talking about bad reviews from readers. I'm talking about the industry itself. It's slow. Publishers go under or don't honor contracts, which leads to rights reversions. Agents can come and go as well.

I've been through a lot, and it's made me change my perspective. I no longer stalk my spreadsheet when my agent has one of my books on submission. It's not that I don't care. I definitely do. But I've come to the conclusion that not every book needs to be published traditionally. So if a good publisher wants my book, that's fantastic. If a book doesn't get picked up, I know it's not the end of the world. I'll hire a great editor and self-publish. If I have too much time between releases, I look at the books I have written, decide which would be better suited for self-publishing, and get that in the works so readers are continuing to get new books from me.

Being a hybrid author is freeing. I don't feel the stress I once did in this industry, and I'm much happier for it. Has your perspective changed after being in this industry for a while?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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12. Writer Wednesday: Where Writers Ever Just Writers?


Lately I've been wondering if writers were ever just writers. Sure, I guess we could just write books, send them to our agent, who submits to publishers, and let the chips fall where they may while we write the next book. But would we really find success if we ignored all the other jobs writers have?

Today more than ever, writers have to be great at marketing. I'm talking getting your books out there by identifying who your fans are and making sure your book is seen by those fans. Everything from interacting on social media, joining Goodreads and FB groups, setting up book signings, creating teaser images, maintaining a website, blogging, offering free content... The list goes on and on. 

Sometimes I'm left wondering when I'm supposed to write. I'm getting one book ready for production and another ready for my editor, and what I noticed is that some parts of these books are foreign to me. I'm so far removed from when I drafted them that I don't remember writing certain parts. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Distance gives you perspective and can really help during the revision process. But I actually have to schedule writing time. Part of me finds that crazy. I used to just write. Nothing else. Now I'm writing, editing, marketing, and self-publishing. I feel like I wear a thousand hats each day.

So I'm wondering, was it always this way? Or has it gotten worse with time? What do you think?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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13. Writer Wednesday: Cover Clones


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who posed the question:

How do you avoid ending up with duplicate covers to other authors? Especially with use of stock photo images? Is digital manipulation enough and is going custom always viable with meager pockets?

Duplicate or similar covers happen more than we'd like. There's even a list on Goodreads called cover clones. And I have books on that list. It happens because of stock images. Those images are bought countless times. In fact, my cover for Touch of Death even appears on a slot machine! So how do you avoid this?

The only way to be absolutely sure your cover image won't appear anywhere else is to have it custom made, either by means of a photo shoot or illustrator (who promises not to sell that image to anyone else). That can be costly though. So if you have to use stock images, you want to make sure that the image is manipulated enough to make it unique. 

Filters, layers, zoom, and rotation can all be used to help. Filters will create a different effect on the photo, playing with lighting and contrast. Layers are wonderful because it means you are using other images and layering them together to create a new image. Zooming in on a photo will remove background and can sometimes make the original image hard to recognize if it's an extreme close-up. Rotation is good, but it doesn't change the image much. Using a combination of all of these would yield the most results.

So if you want a unique cover, you can accomplish that with stock photos as long as you do enough manipulation. But keep in mind that your cover model WILL appear on other covers. It's going to happen if you use stock photos. But you can change that model's hair color, eye color, clothing color, etc to make her slightly different.

Do any of you have books with cover clones?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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14. Writer Wednesday: Self-doubt


Right now I'm revising a book that might be my favorite book I've written to date. I haven't revised it in a while, and that distance made me fall in love with the story and characters all over again. Great, right?

Yes and no. If you're like me, when you read a manuscript you truly love, you get that "Oh no! What if I never write another book as good as this one?" feeling. Self-doubt is awful, but we all experience it. After I got my first book deal, I felt unable to write another book. I thought that was it. One book and my career is finished. Of course it wasn't, but that fear can be crippling.

As I revise, I keep trying to tell myself that it's a good thing that I love this book so much and that I should ride this writer's high and work on the next one immediately. Still, doubt keeps creeping in. It's sort of like being on a roller coaster—feeling great one minute and like a failure the next.

How do you deal with self-doubt? Do you push through and hope the next manuscript surprises you?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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15. Writer Wednesday: When To Hire An Editor

Today's topic comes from Sheena-kay who wants to know at what stage of your writing/manuscript you should hire an editor.

It depends. Some of my clients want to focus on content and making sure that all the necessary plot elements are in place. They hire me for developmental edits. In this case, they've drafted and revised but don't consider the work ready for submission to agents and/or publishers yet. I help them fix any content issues before they revise and polish their work.

Other clients like to wait until they can't find anything else to fix and then have me do a developmental edit. These clients feel like their manuscripts are strong already but want an outside opinion to make sure the story is coming across as clearly on the page as it is in their heads.

The next group is looking for a content edit because they feel pretty confident in their stories but want another pair of eyes on it to catch glaring issues as well as SPAG errors. These individuals usually have critique partners and/or beta readers who have helped them work on the book before I see it.

And the last option I see is from people who have the content the way they want it after going through several critique partners and beta readers and are basically looking for me to proofread for errors.

So when should you hire an editor? It really depends on what you're looking for from your editor and how helpful your CPs and betas have been. The only time I would say you absolutely need to hire an editor is before you self-publish. While you need to revise your own work, you can't be the only one to work on it. You need an editor. (Even editors can't edit their own work.) And in the case of self-publishing, a proofreader is a must. You don't want to let grammar and typos ruin a great story. :)

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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16. Writer Wednesday: Choices of a Hybrid Author

Let's face it. The publishing world is changing. I've been a hybrid author for a while now, releasing books both through self-publishing and through traditional publishing houses. Honestly, there are pros and cons to both, and I feel you have to do what is best for you and your book.

I decided to branch out into writing adult, because I'm not writing enough age groups already, right? ;) Well, when I sat down to do my taxes (Eek!) I realized my self-published Ashelyn Drake books tend to sell better than my traditionally published Ashelyn Drake books. Hmm… It could be the age levels affecting this. It could be a lot of things, actually. Oddly enough, Ashelyn Drake sells better on Barnes and Noble than Amazon, too. (Don't ask me how I feel about B&N doing away with the Nook. I'm still crying over that.) But I've decided that my first Ashelyn Drake adult titles will be self-published. 

You can ask my agent how I feel about self-publishing. It makes me crazy nervous. Even though I've done it before, I panic. Why? It's a LOT of work to self-publish. A LOT. But if sales are better, I think that work is worth it. Does this mean I'll self-publish all my adult titles? Nope. I'm a hybrid author and I don't see that changing, because like I said, there are pros and cons to self-publishing and traditional publishing. 

But I feel really good about self-publishing Lies We Tell. Did I just title drop? ;) Scared? Yes. But good at the same time. I'm weird like that. And since Lies We Tell is with my editor now, it might be coming your way sooner than anticipated.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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17. Writer Wednesday: Famous For A Day

It's no secret I love doing school visits. They're my favorite form of promotion because I love talking to kids of all ages. I recently did a school visit at Blairstown Elementary School that involved three presentations and it was such a rewarding experience. It reminded me of something very important, something writers tend to forget. Famous doesn't have to mean you're a NYT best seller. 

When I walked into the school, people knew who I was. That baffled me at first. Especially when kids were whispering in the hallway, "That's Kelly Hashway." My first thought was, "They know my name?" That's when I discovered why. The librarian had purchased all of my children's books and had been reading them with the different grade levels. 

I saw this bulletin board of my books and the students reading them:


And then there were these displays in the library:



But the truly awesome thing was what wallpapered the sides of the librarian's desk. The kids had written to me and illustrated their favorite parts of my books:




I gave three presentations to encompass grades Pre-K through sixth, and while I was losing my voice, I'd do it all over in a heartbeat because these kids made me feel like a superstar for the day. They reminded me that even if you don't make millions from writing, you're still touching lives. Every "I love your books" I got was like someone handing me a big sack of money. No, it was better because it meant more to me.

So thank you, Blairstown Elementary School for letting me visit and making me feel so special.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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18. Writer Wednesday: Editing While Writing?

On this week's Monday Mishmash, Mirka Breen asked me how I manage my time to be able to edit for others while still working on my own writing. Quite honestly, I'm terrible at it. ;)

I binge write. Whenever I have a small gap in my editing schedule, I fast draft a book. The reason is that I can't (I've tried, but I can't!) write and edit at the same time. I can, however, revise one of my books will also editing for clients. So, sometimes I split my day between those two tasks. 

I find writing to be all-consuming though. When I'm drafting, my brain can only focus on getting that story down on screen. I become somewhat obsessed with the characters and world I've created. They dictate my life few a couple weeks, and only when I'm finished drafting do they release me back to the real world. This is why I write so quickly! 

I wouldn't recommend this method of time management to anyone else, though. I'm the first to admit it's completely insane, but this is how my brain works and what works for my schedule, so here I am. ;)

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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19. Writer Wednesday: Didn't You Just Say That?

April has been a crazy month for me with more edits than I've ever had in a single month. It also made me notice a trend. Writers tend to repeat themselves.

I found myself using the delete key quite often and commenting that something had already been stated, usually in the same paragraph or on the same page. As writers, we don't want to do this because it's insulting to the reader. Readers are smart. They'll remember things and even pick up on things the writer might not have realized. Trust me. I taught 8th grade language arts and saw it happen all the time.

Another error that goes in the same category is saying something in the narration that gets repeated in the dialogue that follows it. When this happens, it's usually is a case of Tell then Show. Just show. Let the dialogue speak for itself and use your narration for better things, like setting the scene or witty internal thoughts. 

So without repeating myself—See what I did there? ;) —trust your readers to be intelligent enough to remember what you've already told them. 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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20. Writer Wednesday: So You Think You Can Edit?

Yeah, I'm cringing at that post title too. ;) You all know I like to amuse myself though, and that's what my brain concocted for the question submitted for today's Writer Wednesday. What is that question? Check it out:

"How does someone go about becoming an editor and how you know how good you are at editing?"

Okay, well answers for this are going to vary, so let me share my journey. First, I went to college to become an English teacher, which is exactly what I was for seven years before switching careers. So, I have a degree in English. While I loved literature, some of my favorite classes were actually grammar courses. Call me crazy but I love grammar rules. Yes, I'm the girl who corrects people's grammar on a regular basis. No, I'm not sorry about it. I love grammar.

From teaching, I moved into proofreading (for a school district actually). That's when I discovered I love to edit. So I set up a page on my website to offer my services, and then I blogged about it with a very special offer. I'd edit up to 10 pages for free so people could try me out. I offered that for one month, and I picked up my first clients. Luckily for me, they were happy with my work and I still work with many of them today, years later.

Once I'd been editing for a while, I started working for several small presses, which looked good on my resume and landed me more freelance clients. That pretty much brings us to today, where I'm in the fortunate situation to have a healthy list of regular clients. I'm busier than ever and even have to turn people away at times because I tend to book months in advance.

As far as how to know how good you are at editing, your clients will tell you. Repeats are happy customers. I can say that in order to be a good editor, you must live on Merriam-Webster and Chicago Manual of Style. I check everything against those sites.

That's my journey. A love of the English language, a degree, some free trials, and now more editing jobs than I could ever fulfill. :) 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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21. Writer Wednesday: How to Annoy An Author


The other day I got a message on one of my social media accounts that began with the words "I don't mean to be rude…" Right away, I knew the message was going to be rude. The guy just told me as much. It was yet another person telling me I should give away paperbacks for free. Not ebooks. Paperbacks.

AHHHHHH!!!! I'm sure you can hear me screaming wherever you are. I REALLY wanted to respond, "I don't mean to be rude, but I think you should send me your paychecks from now on." Because seriously, that's what he's asking me to do for him. What's fair is fair, right?

Here's why this irks me so much: 
  • I give away a lot of free books, both in ebook and paperback formats. I tend to reserve paperbacks for newsletter subscribers because I feel your loyal fans should be rewarded. Giveaway opportunities are definitely there and I pay for the cost of the printed books and the postage, which is insanely high when the winner is international.
  • Whenever I have a new release, I provide interested reviewers with e-ARCs. 
  • I also have a bunch of perma free books that anyone can go ahead and download at no charge. They're all listed on my website.

So telling me I should giveaway paperbacks for free… Yeah, I'm annoyed. In the end, I deleted the message, and should I get another, I'll block the sender. I really think if you have to preface a statement with "I don't mean to be rude" you know full and well that you are absolutely being rude. Plain and simple, writers are entitled to being paid for their hard work just like everyone else. 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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22. Writer Wednesday: Two Become One


In my Monday Mishmash and all over social media last week, I announced that I'm merging Ashelyn Drake and Kelly Hashway. Why you ask?

When I initially launched the pen name, Ashelyn Drake, I wanted to make sure I could stand on my own two feet as a romance author, separate from Kelly Hashway. Once I did that, I revealed Ashelyn Drake and Kelly Hashway are the same person. And since then, I've been using this banner to show that I'm still one person even though I write under two names: 


The problem is, I wasn't acting like one person. I have separate Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and blogs for Kelly and Ashelyn. Why? My website, newsletter, and Instagram are for both names, so why aren't my other social media accounts?

From now on, they will be. I'm moving Ashelyn over to Kelly. You'll notice my Facebook page now has both names listed. As does my blog. Twitter won't allow enough characters to display both names, but you'll see this banner and Ashelyn's name appear in my bio.

Very soon, Ashelyn's accounts will disappear, so make sure you're following the new links below to stay up to date on my Ashelyn Drake romance books as well as my Kelly paranormal and upcoming mystery/suspense/thrillers (Yes, I'm branching out!):

Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Google+

Look at that. Kelly and Ashelyn are truly merging into one author with two names, just like the slogan says. :)


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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23. Writer Wednesday: Protecting Yourself as an Author

Over the past several months, this industry has seen many publishers go south. I'm referring to them closing for various reasons and/or getting exposed for not paying their authors. First, let's be clear that I'm not going to name any publishers or speak ill of any either. The intent of this post is to simply inform authors and help them in seeking a publisher for their work.

One question that seems to pop up a lot in writer forums is how to know if you're signing with a "good" publisher. To be honest, sometimes you can sign with a great publisher and then that publisher is bought out, which changes everything. Other times you sign with a publisher that has good intentions but winds up going under. And other times still, things look great on the surface but there's another world happening behind the scenes and it's not good in the least. 

So what's an author to do? The best advice I can give you is to find out which authors are with the publisher you're interested in and then contact those authors to hear what their experiences have been like. I have people do this with me all the time, and I'm very honest about my experiences, both good and bad (and yes, there have been bad ones). Also, if you notice an author has left that publisher, find out why. Keep in mind that nondisclosure agreements might keep some authors from dishing the gory details, but that should also send up a red flag. Nondisclosure agreements are set in place for a reason. As a writer, you should question that reason.

Please, research and contact authors to find out what's really going on outside of the public eye. Protect yourself and your work.  


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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24. Writer Wednesday: Summer Reading/Writing


My daughter starts summer break today, so we're selecting books to read together in our own little book club. I love reading with her (we take turns reading aloud to each other) because she has such great insights. It also means I get to read some good middle grade books.

In addition to reading this summer, I need to get my Ashelyn Drake contemporary romance, After Loving You, ready for its September release. This story is very special to me because I'm a firm believer that you don't ever stop loving someone, but you can change the way you love them. If you're not sure what I mean, you'll have to read the book in September to find out. ;)

So my summer will consist of lots of reading and writing, because they go hand in hand. Learning from great authors is my favorite form of research, not to mention the most enjoyable way to improve your craft.

Have you selected your summer reads? Feel free to share them in the comments.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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25. Writer Wednesday: Guest Blogger Ayla Hashway Talks About Writing Her First Novel


It gives me great pleasure to introduce my guest blogger today. She's writing her first novel and she happens to be my nine-year-old daughter, Ayla. Please welcome her!

Hi, I'm Ayla and I am proud to say that I am in the middle of writing my first novel! I found out that you should do the book on paper first so it's mostly copying off of the paper. It also helps to write notes so it goes faster. I think picking out a cover once you have most of it planned is easier so you can describe it better. Also, add in a lot of detail to make it more interesting. You also do the cover ahead of time because then it will motivate you to do your best and work on it more. 

I had writers block right in the one part of my book, so my mom and I went on a walk and talked it through. It literally took an hour, so don't rush on the book. It will not do you any good. Writing is a lot of fun if you don't rush, plan it through, and do your best! Another thing is don't always pick out the title first because as I went on I realized that the original name didn't go along any more.

I hope you all have fun writing, so keep calm and write on! I hope you enjoy reading and writing your own books.

Thank you for sharing your experience with everyone, Ayla. I can't wait to see your book once it's finished! <3 span="">


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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